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Rnd 2 - Phillip Island Circuit

Nov 3, 2018

MAKRIS CLAIMS AUSTRALIAN PROTOTYPE SERIES

JASON MAKRIS has claimed the Australian Prototype Series presented by Hot Wheels, ending a four-year quest to take a national championship.

The Marina Mirage Jam Motorsport Wolf GB08 driver battled through various technical issues to claim a title, as nearest rivals Mark Laucke and John-Paul Drake both struck issues that ruled them out of title contention throughout the day.

Befitting the ultra-competitive series this year, Makris’ Wolf led home Mark Laucke’s West and Phil Hughes’ Radical SR3 in the overall championship this year.

Meanwhile, Makris’ two wins and a fifth place sealed the final round of the year, making the Queensland-based driver the only multiple round victor of the season.  

Radical drivers Paul Braico and Zig Fuhrmeister completed the round five podium – but all the celebrations were in the Jam Motorsport camp.

“How good is it? It’s absolutely great!” Makris said.

“To get the win was the aim – not only wanting the round at Phillip Island but to take the championship as well. JP (Drake) and I have been battling all year and it was really great that it was between us two, really.

Laucke has come through but had some issues today. JP – he’s come up, he’s put in a lot of effort into the year.

“We’ve got good coaches, good crew and all the family support behind us.”

Makris said his relentless consistency – he was the only driver to complete the season finishing every race – was key to his championship, though the pressure was well and truly on entering the final round.

His final result was even more satisfying given he failed to complete a lap in practice, and battled electrical ‘gremlins’ throughout the three races today.

“It was just so fortunate that I was even racing here given I had no laps in practice one and two yesterday. We had electrical problems in the car and gremlins we couldn’t find,” he said.

“Between (Mechanics) Alex and Aaron they were like play-dough – you couldn’t split them they were working so fast! “I was sitting in the car suffering from the most anxiety. It was so stressful!

“Consistency in the APS is good but there was a lot on this weekend and it was where it all counted.  

“We came in with nil time getting these cars prepared for the year. We put in some extra hours prior to round one and it paid off.

“I’ve been doing this for four seasons and to win it now – was what I wanted.”

The three races at Phillip Island offered up the same exciting racing that has been a feature of the APS this year.

Makris stormed from fourth on the grid to lead race one by the first corner, prior to engaging in a wheel-to-wheel battle with Drake for the first half of the race.

The pair had looked set to finish 1-2, with Drake continuing to apply the championship pressure, before the latter suffered a fuel pump failure that would ultimately sideline his Wolf for the remainder of the weekend.

It would also see Drake slip from third to fourth in the final championship standings, too.

Laucke also failed to finish the first race, effectively ending his championship aspirations at the same time.

Peter Johnston and an impressive performance from Dimitrios Zartaloudis completed the top three.

The defending champion, however, was then the star of race two as he stormed from 12th on the grid to get to second place by the end of the first lap.

He put the pressure on Makris and jumped into the lead when the championship leader’s electrical issues reared their ugly head on lap four.

While Makris battled home to fifth place, Laucke was a clear winner over Radical pair, Paul Braico and Zig Fuhrmeister. After his strong run in race one, Zartaloudis failed to finishing after crashing out at turn 12.

Makris then returned serve in the final race by taking a victory.

It didn’t come easy, however, Laucke leading the opening lap and then Terry Peovitis the second as the former stuck dramas again and retired to pit lane.

Makris then assumed the lead on lap three and pulled away – however had to survive a late Safety Car before he could finally, officially, claim the championship.

The race was interrupted when Terry Peovitis and Brenton Keogh made contact at turn 12, setting up a pressure-cooker three lap dash to the flag to end the race.

Philip Hughes was the star of the show as he stormed his Radical to second, ending a challenging weekend on a strong note.

Peter Johnston finished third, ensuring seven different drivers filled the nine available podium positions across the three races today.

In the final standings, Makris led home Laucke, Hughes, Drake and Braico in the outright standings.

Phil Hughes avenged his near-miss last season by claiming the Radical / SuperSports class over Braico and Peter Paddon, while Jonathon Stoeckel led home Brenton Keogh in the Kumho Cup.

For more information head to www.prototypeseries.com.au